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 Holiday Central > Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
By: Rivka C. Berman, Contributor
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A Day of Holiness

Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish Year. Though its principal theme is that of atonement, Yom Kippur is also a holiday.

On Yom Kippur the “Books of Judgment” are sealed, having had our deeds recorded on Rosh Hashanah in the Heavenly court. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, combines the elements of remorse and confession, all expressed though prayers and fasting per the biblical command "you shall afflict your souls" (Lev. 23:23-32).

Yom Kippur is also celebrating according to tradition the descent of Moses from Mount Sinai with the second set of the Tablets of Stone, forty days after the collective sin of the Golden Calf. This time, the nation of Israel welcomed him with joy.

Additionally, in the time of the Temple, the Jews celebrated the successful emergence of the High Priest from the Holy of Holies, the holiest sanctuary, after he atoned for the entire community. The atmosphere of jubilation also lent itself to a ambiance of joy, and stimulated hope and thinking of a good future. Hence, it was customary for potential grooms to choose their future brides.

In honor of the holiday (Yom Tov) it is customary to wear Shabbat (festive) clothes and to prepare the house as we would for Shabbat and other festivals.

Mazor Guide for Yom Kippur brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.



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